Year — Fall 2019
Application deadline: December 5, 2018
Year — Spring 2019
Application deadline: July 25, 2018
Semester — Spring 2019
Application deadline: July 25, 2018
Living with a host family and attending a local school in Peru will give you the opportunity to really get to know this ancient and diverse culture, from the modern metropolis of Lima to the ancient Incan ruins of Machu Picchu. At school you’ll meet new people and learn lots of new things, and in your spare time you’ll hang out with your host family.
Peruvians eat a lot of meat – be prepared for most meals to include it in one form or another. The Peruvian communication style tends to be very subtle and indirect. There is a tremendous amount of diversity in Peru, with sizable populations of Europeans, indigenous peoples, Peruvians of African descent, and Asians. In fact, the former president of Peru was of Japanese descent.
Your journey will begin in New York City or Miami, were you’ll meet you fellow AFS students from the United States. You’ll attend an orientation where you’ll learn some important information about your first few days in Peru and get a chance to talk to a Cultural Resource who recently spent time there. Then you’ll travel together to Lima, where you’ll be met by AFS staff and volunteers. From there you’re off to meet your host family!
On the way to your host community you might see lush tropical rainforests, sandy beaches, arid deserts, farmlands, and fishing villages. In many cities and villages there are traditional Inca celebrations as well as a wide variety of Christian holidays and you’re bound to see lots festivals and carnivals throughout the year. You’ll might glimpse people dressed in colorful woven clothing walking through town, often with a child on their back. And if you keep your eyes peeled, you’ll likely glimpse some of the many llamas and alpacas that provide most of the wool for Peruvian clothing in the wintertime.
You might be placed anywhere in Peru but you’ll most likely live in an urban area. Whether you’re among the peaks of the Andes or the tree canopies of the Amazon you’ll likely find a friendly and welcoming community. Peruvian families are well known for their hospitality and can be very affectionate. You might find that the Peruvian sense of privacy is a little different from what you’re used to, but that’s just because Peruvian families enjoy each others company so much! Peruvian families usually have three or more children and extended family or adult children often live together as well.See where past AFSers have lived
Outside of school a lot of your time will probably be spent socializing with new friends. Peruvian teenagers enjoy hanging out at cafes and playing soccer. Since Peru has such a long coastline and lots of beautiful beaches, surfing has become quite popular in recent years. Dancing is another favorite pastime for young people in Peru and most schools have dance teams that compete. In the evenings teenagers often just hang out at home with their families and watch TV.
Peruvian cuisine is well known and highly regarded and reflects the diversity of Peruvian society. Many of the dishes are influenced by European, Asian, African, and indigenous flavors. Some common ingredients include rice, chicken, fish, and beans. Potatoes are native to Peru and there are over 4,000 varieties! Meat is very popular in Peru and you may even get a chance to try Guinea Pig, a Peruvian favorite!
Education is taken very seriously in Peru. You’ll most likely be at a private school. Most schools start around 8AM and end around 2 or 3 PM. Students generally take 3 or 4 classes per day. During your time in school you’ll have a great opportunity to learn about Peruvian culture and history and share your own culture with your classmates as well.
"Life-changing" is hard to describe, yet it’s nearly always the first thing that AFSers say when asked about their experience abroad.
"Transformed" is another one. When you return home, if you’re like most AFSers, you’ll bring with you a sense of accomplishment unlike any other. You’ll have gained maturity and independence, discovered new passions, and feel like you can do anything you set your mind to. That transformation isn’t visible only to you, though - others see it as well. AFSers gain critical skills for college and careers, ranging from language fluency to intercultural competence and critical reasoning. "Life-changing" means it’s only the beginning.
Please Note: Travel date ranges are meant to help with general scheduling and are subject to change; please don’t book any travel based on these dates until you’ve received confirmation from AFS. All programs, prices, and travel dates are subject to change without notice.